An unnamed public servant has been suspended over accusations that he posted derogatory remarks on the blog site Whale Oil about beneficiaries and politicians.
Comments posted under the pseudonym included: “Why is is that people who are already poor then decided to have babies and expect that they will be able to make ends meet? Why are poor people so stupid?” according to the Herald.
The comments were linked to the Ministry of Social Development's server, with information identifying the individual.
Ministry deputy chief executive Merv Dacre said the comments were being taken very seriously.
"MSD’s social media policy also explicitly excludes staff from commenting on Ministry or other Government policy in a way that has the potential to impact their ability to be politically neutral and conduct their duties," says Mr Dacre.
However, he says the Ministry does not ban staff from accessing social sites.
"Staff are able to access personal and/or social media sites on their Ministry computer for reasonable personal purposes. The Ministry makes it clear to all staff that such use is subject to the same standards of integrity and conduct that apply when staff are participating in any other form of media or public forum."